What Do You Need to Know About Football Betting?

Sports betting became legal in Illinois in March 2022, meaning that Bears fans can now place wagers on the games, players, and other football-related activities through some Illinois jackpot casinos.

Seven state casinos and one horse racing track are currently approved and licensed to offer retail sports wagers including the Argosy Casino Alton, Grand Victoria Casino, Rivers Casino Des Plaines, and the Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet.

Betting on college sporting events is limited to retail casinos Illinois residents and visitors to the state can place their bets at any time onlinevia any of the sportsbooks apps currently operating in the state.

They include DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, PointsBets and BetRivers. Unibet and the Sportsbet apps are expected to become available in the state in the near future.

Getting Started on Mobile

If you want to place some money on your prediction of how the Bears will perform in a specific game or how certain players will play, your first need to decide which sportsbook you want to sign up for. Deciding on a sportsbook involves doing a bit of research. Some things that you might want to know about Illinois sportsbooks before you place your bet include:

  • DraftKings sportsbooks features a $1050 Illinois bonus offer and a betting carousel.
  • If you bet via Caesars Sportsbook in Illinois you receive a $1,250 bonus and significant odds boosts.
  • The BetMGM Sportsbook has a $1000 bonus for Illinois bettors and features including an easy parlay and an Edit My Bet feature.
  • PointsBet Sportsbook offers an industry-leading $2000 bonus.
  • There’s a $500 Illinois bonus offer at BetRivers with a 24/7 news feed.
  • FanDuel  features a wide selection of same-game parlays along with a $1000 Illinois bonus offer.

Elements of a Good Bet

You can bet on “Bears to Win” easily but once you’re ready to move beyond that, you need to understand the basic elements of betting so that you can place a wager that gives you as good a chance of collecting as possible. Some of these elements include:

Favorites vs. Underdogs – When you see the betting line, the line will show you what the oddsmakers estimate the odds are of eac team winning or losing. The team that is favored to win is the “favorite” while the other team is the “underdog.

Those odds are expressed as a “-” (minus) sign next to the favorite’s odds and a “+” (plus) sign next to the underdog’s odds. If the game is predicted to be a toss-up of 50-50, it will open as a “pick” or “pick ’em.”

Point Spread — There are two main ways to bet on an underdog or a favorite. If you bet on the “point spread” you are betting on the margin of victory – by how many points will the victorious team win?

For instance, if the point spread says that the Bears are a -4-5 favorite over the Detroit Lions, you need the Bears to win by 5 or more points in order to win. Point spreads are adjusted for many factors including team ability.

Moneylines – The other option for betting on an underdog or a favorite is the “moneyline.” If you place a moneyline bet you just pick the winner of the game – a straight either/or pick.

Calculating the winning amount requires figuring according to “American odds” which means that you win half of the amount that you wagered (plus you get your wager back).  So, if you bet $200 on the Bears where they are a -200 favorite, you would win $100 if your bet succeeds.

Over/Unders – the “Totals” involves the total number of points scored that oddsmakers set for both teams combined. You can then wager on whether or not the game will go under or over the total.

So if a Bears-Lions game ends with a total of 42 points (regardless of which side scored which number of points), you win if you bet “over” of 43+ points or “under” if you bet 41 points or under. If the game ends exactly on 42 points total, it’s a “push” and you neither win or lose and your bet will be returned.

You can bet over/under on various elements of the game…..for instance, total overall number of passing yards, total number of assists for a specific player, total number of field goals scored, etc.

Parlay Bets – In a parlay bet, two or more bets are linked together. This creates one bet with a greater payout but to win, all the bets must succeed.

Props Bets – Proposition bets include those bets not on a moneyline, total or standard point spread. They can be game-related – how many goals or assists a specific player will achieve – or more general, such as who will appear first in the halftime show.

How to Place Your Bet

Now that you understand the different types of bets, you can make your choice and start wagering. If you’re at a land-based casino, you just place your bet at the casino’s sportsbook window in person.

If you’re betting online, once you decide which sportsbook you want to wager with, choose the game and decide on your bet type. Then, click “bet cell” and enter the amount that you wish to bet. You’ll see each team lined up with its corresponding lines so click the bet cell across from the name of the team on which you want to bet.

Final Words of Wisdom

Different sportsbooks give different lines so it’s a good idea to shop around for the best line. A half point here or there doesn’t seem to be a big deal but it adds up over time.

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